DBU Hosts Eighth Annual Lion's Den DFW Conference

Lion's Den DFW Speaker on Stage

Over the past eight years, the Lion’s Den DFW has welcomed Kingdom-minded entrepreneurs to share their business ventures, network with well-established professionals as well as other innovators of emerging companies, and compete in a pitch-style competition and conference. With the tagline this year of “Where Innovation Meets Kingdom Impact,” DBU was excited again to host this event that develops leaders and brings Christ-centered mission and business strategy together. The organization also graciously extended all the excitement to DBU students as it does each year, giving access to the competition and breakout session free of charge to Patriots.

The Lion’s Den DFW 2023 kicked off on Wednesday with its 3rd annual Diversity Den in Hillcrest Great Hall, hosting various information sessions for entrepreneurs of diverse backgrounds that center on growing and sustaining young businesses. A luncheon was provided along with opportunities for networking, and this year’s keynote address was shared by Barry Givens of Collab Capital.

The main event began bright and early on Thursday morning in Pilgrim Chapel with check-in and networking opportunities for contestants, investors, speakers, and attendees. The Lion’s Den DFW’s Chairman and Co-Founder Ed Pearce welcomed those in attendance before releasing everyone to their first and second sessions, which offered six unique breakouts taught by an esteemed group of individuals and panelists with extensive experience in the field of business. (The option to stream the full day main event was also provided for those who could not attend in person.)

Following these breakouts, the conference joined back together for the Networking Luncheon & Keynote, welcoming Bill McKendry as this year’s Speaker. Bill McKendry is leader of the “He Gets Us” Campaign, founder of HAVEN | A Creative Hub, author of “Do More Good,” and Co-Founder of Compass College of Film & Media.

In the afternoon, the long-awaiting Annual Pitch Competition began in Pilgrim Chapel, and welcomed DBU’s own Sandra Crawford Williamson, Assistant Professor of Management, as the event’s emcee. This year’s competition welcomed nine groups to present their innovative ideas:

Art Ayris - Kingstone Studios

Andrea Pizziconi - Girls First Finance

Kevin & Michelle Klay - DATEible

Ilya Korotkiy - Gr8 Wood Industries

Justin Henshaw - GAGE

Tony Gao - VarIntel

Arun Stanley - Landcent Europe

Steve Day - Hovr Studio

Luke Keller – Kicky

The Lion’s Den DFW offered for a third year a Full Day Virtual Exhibit Hall on April 25th where companies can purchase a “virtual room” to showcase their company and engage with participants.

Dallas Baptist University is honored to host this event each year and the support the mission of the Lion’s Den DFW as they continue to showcase emerging Christian leaders in the world of business. For more information regarding The Lion’s Den DFW, visit https://www.thelionsdendfw.org/.

Written by Emmalie Ellis

Emmalie Ellis writes for the University Communications department at Dallas Baptist University.